Flirting with trouble: Detroit doubts / by Jessica Lee


I am heading out on the first leg of my Central North America tour today and it starts in Detroit, Michigan. By the time you’re reading this, I may be bleeding on the side of the street, about to pass out from stray bullets, who knows? If that is my fate my dear readers, it has been a pleasure writing for you.

There is a scene in 8 Mile (2002), a movie based in Detroit where Eminem and his buddies take a gun and just shoot at random things while driving down the street. I don't want that to happen to me, but I do want to see the city for myself.

I’ve never been to Detroit before and as a way to research the city, I watched 8 Mile. I have never been so freaked out to go to a city alone!

My friend Dave, who is from Windsor, Ontario, on the other side of Detroit says of the latter that the place is a “sh*thole”, for lack of a better word. According to him, houses have been sold for as low as $1 just to get people other than gangsters to move into the neighbourhoods.

I searched craigslist to see if I could find the $1 houses and here is what I came up with: not quite $1, but huge houses over there cost as much as a down payment in Toronto- a fraction of the price!


I'm not sure if the posting below is a "for sale" or just for rent, but it was posted in the real estate section. If the below home really is $3400, I could afford to move out here soon.


The house below is definitely for sale for a mere $11000! That is less than a down payment in Toronto, where I'm from.


Below is a screenshot of the website of a place I'm planning to visit. It says "use caution if venturing beyond the Heidelberg project on foot"!


And here is a screenshot of the Craigslist for Detroit Real Estate so you can see the general prices for homes. The above examples were not anomalies.


Anyway, if you don’t hear from me on this blog for a while or ever, I'm probably stuck in Detroit. Or dead. Send help!!!